Wednesday, February 17, 2010

who I love: the children of Haiti!

Alright everyone. I know it has been quite a while since my last post, and I am truly sorry for that. Though I have some unbelievable news to update you on.

As all of you must know, on January 12th a horrible earthquake hit Haiti and devastated many areas including the capitol, Port-Au-Prince. Immediately, I knew I needed to help. Owning Invited, I am one of the lucky few who gets to make my own schedule. So I decided to take two weeks off and go and help the people of Haiti. So for all of those who were wondering where I was... I was in the hot sun and cool breeze of Port-Au-Prince. Arriving there was an incredible experience. I don't think I've ever witnessed devastation quite to this extent, and I was witness to the relief efforts at both Hurricane Katrina and 9/11. The difficulties with helping in Haiti were two-fold; there was no real infrastructure even before the earthquake and being an island made it impossible to get supplies and people there fast enough.

I was lucky enough to help in many regards. I helped in the General Hospital in Port-Au-Prince assisting with basics that no one else had the time to do (like feeding the patients). I also had the chance to help in an orphanage that had started after the earthquake hit in order to house nearly 100 orphans who had been displaced after their orphanages collapsed. I assisted in taking care of their every need: feeding them, clothing them, even administering tetanus shots to every child. This, I can truly say, was a life-changing experience like none other.

These kids are outstanding. They have huge, seemingly-permanent smiles, even though they've experienced the unimaginable. They enjoy every morsel of food and every drop of water to the fullest extent. They laugh, and they play. They sing, and they run. They love love. As soon as someone steps on to the orphanage grounds, the kids run to the person and cling on for dear life. The kids hug and jump, and love to just be with you.

One of my favorite kids was a little boy named Saddam. He had this smile that would just light up your whole day. He always was happy to see you, and I never saw him angry or sad. Though he had one of the most heartbreaking stories. He was blind in his left eye, and this was not as a result of the earthquake. When he was just a baby, his mother kicked him straight in his face and, with no further thought to her son's future, blinded him for the rest of his life. Yet the joy that poured out of him was unreal, and any person that is lucky enough to have this boy become part of their family will be blessed.

The trip, as I already said, was life-changing. As cliche as that all may sound, there's no other way to even begin to explain it. So it's safe to say that who I love this week (and will love forever) are the children of Haiti. If you love them too, feel free to sponsor a child at this amazing orphanage by going to and donating. It's quite obviously a worthy cause for incredibly worthy kids.